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Understanding the Attacks on Critical Race Theory

Attacks on Critical Race Theory have been in the news for over a year. Rallies have been organized, school board meetings disrupted, executive orders issued, and legislation introduced to remove or exclude CRT from school curriculum. Since early 2021, eight states have passed legislation that, broadly speaking, seeks to ban historical information and critical analysis related to race and racism in public school classrooms, and additional legislation is being considered. Advocates of these administrative and legislative actions argue that providing students with information on race and racism is un-American, divisive, and itself racist. This policy memo reviews the contemporary attacks against CRT, describes the political objectives of these attacks, explores historical examples of similar tactics, and provides resources on evidence-based strategies to counter the propaganda.